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Trump and Barr put their hands over their hearts and become more solidified in their path forward.

Almost three years ago, Salen Churi and Brian Tochman were at a Koch brothers private retreat for donors when they announced they were launching Trust Ventures.

The venture capital firm is backed by Koch Disruptive Technologies and invests in startups the Kochs can partner its lobbyists, politicians and policy experts with to influence legislation and expand profits. It’s raised $100 million so far.

“Imagine a startup able to tap into the know-how of Koch from day one,” Churi said. “They need our help.”

Five months after the retreat, it invested in Oklo, a fission tech company that’s building one of the world’s smallest nuclear reactors. The Aurora is a 1.5-megawatt microreactor that produces clean energy from nuclear waste. …


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A view over Sheldon Adelson’s Marina Bay Sands casino looking toward Singapore’s downtown financial centre and shipping ports.

Two months ago, Temasek Holdings joined the Libra Association, the independent, not-for-profit Facebook created to oversee its Libra payment network.

It was added to bring “legitimacy” to the project after Visa, MasterCard, Stripe, PayPal and others backed out.

Temasek is owned by the Singapore government and manages the country’s $313 billion sovereign wealth fund. It invests in hundreds of companies and hedge funds around the world.

One of those is the Troika Russia New Growth Fund, which it started with Russia 15 years ago. It’s sponsored by the Troika Dialog Group (TDG), formerly Russia’s largest private investment bank before it was bought by Sberbank in 2011. …


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Renaissance Technologies, the Long Island hedge fund where Robert Mercer made billions of dollars innovating algorithmic trades, has owned stock in Comscore for the last six years. Four months ago, it bought another 19%.

The second year into that investment—and less than a month before the 2016 U.S. presidential election—Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica announced a deal with Comscore. It agreed to provide viewer data from 52,000 households for Cambridge to use for political ad buys.

“Our alliance with comScore takes television ad-targeting to a new level, which not only includes better targeting, but also messaging,” said Ed DeNicola, then Cambridge’s Head of TV. …


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Three years ago, Donald Trump reversed FCC broadband privacy rules meant to limit how Internet providers like Comcast use and sell customer data.

That data can include what subscribers watch on TV or say into their remote; what and where they shop, read news, or socialize online; their geo location; or their call history and text messages. Comcast now has a million Xfinity Home customers using indoor and/or outdoor security cameras. It’s also launching a health monitoring device with a tracking service.

Comcast claims it does “…not sell, and have never sold, information that identifies” who its 55 million subscribers are. …


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Kansas Sen. Derek Schmidt (left) and former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel discuss plans for additional campaign stops. Hagel endorsed Schmidt in the race for Kansas AG in August 2010. (Photo: Leavenworth Times)

In 1988, Chuck Hagel met Mike McCarthy on a fishing trip.

They became fast friends and as Hagel later said, “It was one of those things that happens with friends. The chemistry was just right.”

Hagel shortly thereafter accepted an offer from McCarthy to serve on the board of American Information Systems (AIS), a small Omaha voting machine company.

The McCarthy Group and the Omaha World-Herald Co. bought a majority stake in AIS the year before. At the time, the Peter Kiewit Foundation was the largest single stockholder of the Omaha World-Herald Co. It also had ownership in the local Omaha World-Herald newspaper. This meant Kiewit’s Omaha World Co. …


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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas discussing law, politics and the judicial confirmation process with Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society.

In 2000, when U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was deciding if George W. Bush or Al Gore would be the 43rd U.S. president, his wife Ginni was working with the Heritage Foundation to recruit candidates for a potential Bush administration.

Neither of them had any issues with the arrangement. Justice Thomas didn’t recuse himself and instead joined the majority to overrule the Florida Supreme Court and stop the statewide recount. Thomas had been nominated by H.W. Bush in 1991.

Ginni later became the liaison between Heritage and the Bush White House.

A decade later, she launched Liberty Central, a dark money, advocacy group that wanted “limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, free enterprise and national security.” Unknown donors gave it almost $1.5 …


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Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Sister Cities International hosted the [Year] Russian National Exhibition at Chicago’s McCormick Convention Center. He’s on stage with ??? Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and ?? at the 2009 Russian National Exhibition that took place at the in Chicago.

On July 17, 1991, Kraft General Foods hosted a luncheon at the Palmer House Hotel for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Kyiv, Ukraine Mayor Grigory Malishevsky.

They were there to legitimize their growing relationship by signing a Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) agreement. For Chicago, it provided a more official avenue for Daley and some of the country’s largest corporations to further gain a foothold in Eastern Europe.

For Ukraine, it provided another means by which Kremlin officials and Russian oligarchs could visit and invest in a major U.S. city. One with large Ukrainian and Russian communities.

Daley inherited CSCI from his father, who signed the first agreement with Warsaw, Poland in 1960. It was considered a “tired and largely ceremonial venture” until Daley established its volunteer board of directors in 1990. CSCI is partially funded by taxpayer money and received a city grant this year for $528, 643. …


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Cinespace Chicago Film Studios occupies 1.45 million sq. ft. of what use to be the old Ryerson steel mill in North Lawndale. With Cinespace’s latest expansion, its 37 sound stages will make it the largest film studio in America.

Before Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with Trump at the White House in October 2017, he spent the weekend in Chicago.

While here, he toured the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

His guide was studio President Alex Pissios and members of the Mirkopoulos family. They own and run Cinespace in Toronto and Chicago. It will soon have a total of 37 sound stages in Chicago—making it the largest film studio in America.

It’s generated almost $3 billion in economic activity for Chicago over the last eight years. The last two years, account for almost one third of that.

Tsipras was in town to discuss Greece’s growing TV and film production industry. Plans are under way for a $6 million film school and Hollywood-style studio on the Greek island of Syros, in the Aegean Sea. …


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The Island of Mallorca is off Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast. In 2008, Spanish authorities arrested nearly 20 mobsters on the island and the mainland, seized $17 million in cash and confiscated two yachts.

By 2004, Gennady Petrov had settled into a $10 million villa in Calvià, an exclusive village on the Island of Mallorca.

He was among dozens of Russian mobsters — Alexander Torshin, Alexander Malyshev, Vladislav Reznik — who began using Spain’s Mediterranean coast in the mid 1990s to launder their blood money through the local banks, ports, real estate, businesses and politicians.

From Spain, they ran a global network of legal and illegal businesses. Cobalt and cigarette smuggling through Finland. Money laundering in Germany, Belgium, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. An embezzlement scheme in Germany that stole more than $100 million.

“They first arrive cloaked with a certain degree of legitimacy for the purpose of infiltrating a society. They corrupt politicians, judges, cops, banks, industries, in different cities. …


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By 11:40 PM, the last 10 precincts still hadn’t reported their final vote tallies. The race for District 17 Cook County Commissioner was too close to call. As it stood, 1,812 votes separated incumbent Republican Sean Morrison’s from Progressive Democrat Abdelnasser Rashid.

Morrison’s also the Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party and Committeeman for the Republican Organization of Palos Township. He’s one of two Republicans on the Cook County Board, which makes him a fairly powerful Republican in Chicagoland.

Rashid is an Arab-American Muslim, Harvard graduate and former IL Deputy State Director for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. He’s been the Deputy Chief of Staff for Cook County Clerk David Orr and Field Director for Jesus Chuy Garcia’s mayoral campaign. Garcia and Sanders are longtime friends. …

About

Brian Mohr

Citizen Journalist

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